On Friday, after 2 long years of investigation into whether or not Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, Robert Mueller finalized his report. We all knew this was coming, because there have been rumors prior that Mueller was in the final stages of his report. After finishing the report, Mueller then released it to Attorney General William Barr, and from there everyone waited, dreading to see what Mueller had found. Then, on Sunday, Attorney General Barr released his summary of the report. Everyone was dreading this very moment, and then it came.
Before I get to the actual report, I think I should mention that it was clear that Mueller didn’t find much. Why you ask? Well, when Mueller released his report to Barr, it was reported that he and his team would not seek anymore indictments. This alone casted a huge shadow of doubt over the collusion narrative. Even the media was starting to have their doubts, some were even crying. Despite all of that, the left generally held on to the narrative that Trump colluded with Russia. So with this in mind, here is what the report actually said, hold on to your butts. So in short summary, after 2 long years of this investigation, Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia, and he did not find enough evidence to support an obstruction of justice charge. This isn’t me saying this, this is what Barr has in his summary of the report which I’m going to give you right now.
The Special Counsel’s Report
On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. $ 600.8(c). This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
Here’s page 1 of the summary.
The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
I mean, that seems pretty clear to me. It clearly says that Mueller did not find any evidence that proves Trump colluded with Russia. It continues.
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”
So to recap, on collusion, President Trump is completely clear. There was no evidence that supports the notion that Trump colluded with Russia. The next part is obstruction of Justice and that’s where page 2 comes in.
Obstruction of Justice.
The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The line “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” has been used by the left to spin this to where Trump can still be charged with Obstruction of Justice, but he is not being charged with a underlying crime so there’s nothing to obstruct. Plus, it says in the summary that there isn’t enough sufficient evidence to get him for Obstruction of Justice.
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
So again, as it says in the report, there’s no evidence of collusion and there’s no sufficient evidence to make a Obstruction of Justice charge. After 2 years of this nonsense, nothing came up, which means loads of money and time was wasted all for nothing.
So how did the left respond? Did they accept the report and apologize to President Trump? Of course not, in fact they have tried to spin this. One way they have spun this is suggesting that Barr is lying. They are saying that since Barr works for Trump, he must be lying. Several Democrats have called for Barr to release the full report, which he is. Also, if Barr were lying, Mueller would have already come out say that the summary is completely false. He did this with the fake Buzzfeed article back in January. Another spin is again the exoneration line but again you can’t obstruct justice without a underlying crime.
In the end, this is a massive win for Trump and he deserves to gloat. I also want to note that his past tweets over this, while it wasn’t smart, they were completely justified. I expect zero apologies to President Trump from the media over this. I hope Trump holds on to this all the way to the presidential election in 2020.